FIRM was the stance of the NCAA as it is set to prohibit foreign student-athletes from partaking in its competitions in all sports starting in Season 96.
Management Committee chair Fr. Vic Calvo of host Letran doubled down on that pronouncements on Tuesday as they took the stage for the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
The public sentiments, however, haven't changed with some feeling that the ruling remains draconian and out-of-date.
Players didn't shy away from voicing their sentiments on social media.
There's an exception, though.
Former Letran Knight and the 1999 NCAA MVP Kerby Raymundo welcomed the decision, believing that the foreign student-athletes are taking away opportunities for local bigs to shine.
"Good news eto! Kinain nila playing time ng Locals, When locals play, they make mistakes, they learned from their mistakes, next game they play better. 3 years later they improved a lot. They’re ready to play in PBA," he tweeted.
Proponents of the rule change have used that idea for years, with some even branding the imports as mercenaries.
In the past decade, there were only two instances where teams without any foreign reinforcements won the crown -- the Letran teams of 2015 and 2019.
The rest, all of which are San Beda squads, included foreign student-athletes in their lineups.
Yet the advantage isn't limited to the Red Lions, with all member-schools, with the exception of Letran and San Sebastian, enlisting foreigners in their men's basketball teams over the years.